The disease of thalassemia
Approximately 100,000 newborns are admitted to hospitals each year as a result of acute thalassemia,
which is a common hereditary blood disease among people of African descent, South Asian countries, and the
There are two kinds of thalassemia
The first is beta thalassemia, which is caused by a disorder or mutation in the beta globin genes, and the second is
which is caused by a disorder or mutation in the alpha globin genes,
in addition to the presence of a number of other types that fall under these two types,
and thus, it can be said that the type of thalassemia that a person suffers affects the type and severity of symptoms that appear on him.
The medical treatment of Thalassemia
There are many treatment options available in the event of this disease, and the choice is determined by the severity of the patient’s condition,
some of which are listed below.
- Blood transfusions:
A patient is transfused every three to four weeks to try to reduce the number of red blood cells produced by the bone
marrow. In severe cases, which are accompanied by the emergence of a variety of complications, blood transfusions
- Drug therapy:
In some cases, drugs such as hydroxyurea are used to increase the body’s production of fetal hemoglobin.
- Stem cell transplantation, or bone marrow transplantation:
A bone marrow transplant from a compatible donor may be effective in severe cases of the disease,
as the bone marrow’s job is to produce red and white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin.
- Treatment of other health issues that may arise as a result of thalassemia, such as the following:
- Antibiotics and vaccines are drugs that are used to treat and prevent infection.
- Bisphosphonates are a type of medicine that can be used to strengthen bones.
- Hormonal medications are used to treat delayed puberty in children as well as low hormone levels in the body.
- In some cases of gallstone formation, gallbladder removal surgery is required.
- Thyroid hormones that are administered to patients who have hypothyroidism.
Changes in lifestyle
In addition to the appropriate treatment plan for thalassemia, the patient is advised to engage in several behaviors,
including the following:
- Make sure to eat healthy and balanced food, which contains sufficient quantities of nutrients necessary for the health
of the body,
in addition to the importance of eating foods that contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium,
which are necessary to maintain bone health.
- Avoid taking iron-containing vitamins or other food supplements unless your doctor has prescribed them.
- Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and avoid contact with sick people to avoid infection,
especially if you are having surgery to remove your spleen.
- Consult a doctor as soon as you feel ill or develop a fever.
Symptoms of the disease
Patients exhibit a variety of symptoms, some of which are summarised below:
- Growth and physical development are slowed.
- Suffering from bone deformities, particularly in the facial bones.
- I’m feeling extremely tired and fatigued.
- Dark urine Skin that is pale or yellowing.
- I’m having heart problems.
- Having a sluggish appetite. Splenomegaly is a condition in which the organ responsible for fighting diseases is
There are several methods that a doctor may use to diagnose thalassemia, some of which are as follows:
- Physical examination reveals an enlarged spleen.
- A complete blood count allows the doctor to detect anaemia.
- Perform a mutation analysis test; this test can aid in the detection of alpha-thalassemia.
- Examination of a blood sample under a microscope to detect changes in the shape and size of red blood cells.
- Hemoglobin electrophoresis test; This test detects the presence of abnormal hemoglobin forms in the blood.